Forensic Science Degree Programs in Florida
There are dozens of potential career paths in criminal justice, giving you the freedom to choose a field of study that resonates with your skills, education, and interests. The field of forensic science has seen considerable growth in recent years, thanks to the reliability of forensic evidence and its ability to provide clarity in difficult-to-investigate cases.
If you’ve ever considered a career in forensic science or crime scene investigation, why not get started today?
Reach out to forensic science Florida programs below to learn more.
What Can I Do with a Forensic Science Degree in Florida?
In Florida, forensic science has been used in a variety of ways to streamline the criminal investigation process and bring closure to victims and families. For many years, Florida had an issue with a growing body of cold cases (Tampa Bay, 2016). This was influenced by a number of factors, including increasing mobility of offenders, budgetary constraints within criminal justice agencies, and evolving investigative practices.
As the field of forensic science has changed, the amount of techniques has increased substantially, and technology has made it more affordable and time-efficient to use these techniques. With forensic science techniques, Florida has gotten control over its cold case backlog.
With a career in forensic investigation and science, you may be able to contribute to these efforts.
Forensic Science Degrees in Florida
Florida is home to several accredited forensic science schools. The program that is right for you is dependent on your previous education and your current level of experience in criminal justice.
Certificate programs are aimed to either new students without any postsecondary experience or those who have already earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. The first option is a technical certificate, while the latter is a post-Bachelor’s or postgraduate certificate.
Courses Offered in Certificate Programs in Forensic Science
- Survey of Forensic Science
- Forensic Evidence
- Forensic Analysis
- Principles of Forensic Biology
For those who want to further their education in the future, an Associate’s degree may be optimal. An Associate’s in forensic science generally takes about two years of full-time study and leads to the completion of 60 credits.
You may get some laboratory experience at this level, although most of your time may be spent developing your theoretical knowledge of forensic science.
Associate’s-Level Forensic Science Classes
- Crime Scene Technology
- Crime Scene Safety
- Latent Fingerprint Development
- Fingerprint Classification
A Bachelor’s degree in forensic science offers a thorough, well-balanced education in general academic topics, critical thinking, and forensic science. This is a fairly extensive degree, requiring no fewer than 120 credits and typically involving at least four years of full-time study.
This degree is often essential for entry-level forensic science careers, since it covers the latest technology and research in this field. Many undergraduate programs require an internship, which offers valuable experience in your chosen field of study and helps you get to know leaders in your industry.
Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Forensic Studies
- Forensic Microscopy
- Forensic Science in the Courtroom
- Forensic Laboratory Quality Insurance
- Forensic Analysis of Controlled Substances
- Trace Evidence
If you already have a Bachelor’s degree in forensic science, criminal justice, or a similar field, consider advancing your education with a Master’s degree. Graduate forensic science degrees build on a thorough understanding of criminal justice theories and broaden your expertise.
At this level of study, you may participate in research, experiment with new forensic science technology, and explore new applications of existing technology. Graduate programs typically last two to three years, requiring between 30 and 40 credits.
Graduate Courses in Forensic Psychology
- Forensic Chemistry
- Forensic Biology
- Forensic Analysis
Furthering your education with a forensic science degree may give you the skills you need to get active in one of the most in-demand specialties in criminal justice.
Get started today by contacting criminal justice programs in Florida.
Working as a Forensic Scientist in Florida
By the time you finish your degree, you may already know which career paths are a good option for you. With an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree, you may become a forensic science technician.
In this position, you may work in a crime laboratory, process evidence, and ensure that results are sent to the proper law enforcement professionals. The average income for a forensic science technician is $47,490 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). By the year 2024, job openings for forensic science technicians may increase 29% in Florida (O*Net, 2016).
To become a criminal investigator, you may need a Bachelor’s degree. However, you may also move into this role with a certificate or Associate’s degree if you work your way up from being a patrol officer. Criminal investigators claim an average annual salary of $75,350 (BLS, 2016). Job growth may hit 5% by the year 2024 (O*Net, 2016).
The role of coroner is a bit more specialized than either of these options, since it requires you to work exclusively with cadavers. Rather than having a role in crimes that may have a positive ending, your work may be used to bring peace to the family members of deceased victims. Coroners examine cadavers to determine cause of death and figure out the series of events that lead to death.
Keep in mind that this role also involves examining people who have died through natural causes, not just those who have been victimized by crime. On average, Florida coroners earn $60,390 per year (BLS, 2016). Between 2014 and 2024, job openings for Florida coroners may increase 12% (O*Net, 2016).
Depending on which career path fits you, you may work for private research facilities, government agencies, law enforcement agencies, crime labs, or county health facilities. You may want to start networking as a student so you can use your contacts to explore job openings after graduation.
Explore the field of forensic science and build a career you are passionate about.
Take the first step now by contacting forensic science programs in Florida.
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